Here is a helpful comparison featured in Dr. Wilson’s book “Legal Guidelines For Unlicensed Practitioners” which compares the licensed practitioner to the certified, unlicensed practitioner: [this book is probably available on and other similar sites]


licensing: permission to perform an activity

certification: statement of completion or meeting a standard [established by a private school]

licensing: mandatory to perform the activity

certification: voluntary

licensing: involves the police power of the government

certification: does not involve the police power of the government

licensing: presumes that working is  a privilege. establishment of licensing shifts from the activity from a right to a privilege

certification: presumes that working [as a practitioner] is a right

licensing: the privilege or benefit is given and may be withdrawn at any time by the issuing agency

certification: certification may be withdrawn at any time by the private issuing agency. however, this does not stop one from working [as a practitioner]

licensing: increases the power of the government, and reduces the power and freedom of consumers and practitioners

certification: preserves and enhances the power of the individual consumer to decide the practitioner of his [or her] choice

licensing: the purpose is to restrict entry and strictly control the profession or activity

certification: the purpose is mainly to inform and educate




















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